When in Doubt, Prefer the Other Person
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” [Romans 12:10 KJV]
A few days ago there was a bit of an argument in the comments about how much control a wife should have over what her husband watches. Words like “freedom”, “sin”, “rights”, “lust”, and “preferences” were thrown around.
My answer to this is one word: prefer.
I suppose it might look more like avoiding the issue than dealing with it. In a way, I guess it is that, but I see it as a higher principle making the whole issue irrelevant.
Preferring is an interesting concept. Dictionary.com defines the word this way “to set or hold before or above other persons or things in estimation; like better; choose rather than”. We usually think of this in terms of preferring one of a number of similar things. I prefer this colour, or that type of food, or some genre of movies. I’m expanding that to preferring a person, my wife, over activities or time use. In part, this means not doing things that make her uncomfortable. In part, it means not doing things that take too much of my limited time so I have plenty of time to spend with her.
Yes, this gives my wife a lot of power over me. But I’m the one giving her that power because I love her; because I want to value and honour her; because I choose to prefer her. Of course, I think we are called to do this, with others in general and our spouse in particular, but for me with my wife this is an easy thing.
I realise having a reasonable wife makes this less painful and difficult. I am aware there are those who would take advantage of this. However, that doesn’t make it wrong to prefer such a person. It probably requires more thinking and some good boundaries, but I think it’s still wise, loving, and what God calls us to do.
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